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Old 07-26-2016, 11:21 AM   #1
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New/ First time Travel Trailer buyer

Hello Everyone! We made the big mistake of buying a new half ton pick up this past Oct...only to find out that we want a travel trailer now. Trading the new truck in for another model is out of the question. Too big of a $$ loss. (We checked into it already). I see a ton of lightweight models available for us to pull... however none with the features we really want. I LOVE the rear living w/ mid bunk models. I haven't been able to find one that comes in at under our weight. We are being told to find a unit around 9500lbs or lighter as our max tow is 10800. Trailer for 3 people, right now our daughter is young (10yrs old) so we are considering just buying a rear living one bedroom model and trying it out for a few years. She takes the sofa sleeper... Maybe upgrade at a later time when we can get a bigger truck. Does anyone know of a model that still has the rear living set up but with a middle bunk, or loft bunk, or even a nook type bunk that is light weight?
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:09 PM   #2
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Might want to consider the Mini Lites

We just got a brand new Mini Lite 1905 and love it. We pull it with a midsize SUV (Audi Q5 TDI) with ease. It's bigger siblings should follow your rig just fine. The flip-down murphy bed is absolutely genius and makes the whole trailer feel much bigger. You might want to give it a close look too. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TTRB View Post
Hello Everyone! We made the big mistake of buying a new half ton pick up this past Oct...only to find out that we want a travel trailer now. Trading the new truck in for another model is out of the question. Too big of a $$ loss. (We checked into it already). I see a ton of lightweight models available for us to pull... however none with the features we really want. I LOVE the rear living w/ mid bunk models. I haven't been able to find one that comes in at under our weight. We are being told to find a unit around 9500lbs or lighter as our max tow is 10800. Trailer for 3 people, right now our daughter is young (10yrs old) so we are considering just buying a rear living one bedroom model and trying it out for a few years. She takes the sofa sleeper... Maybe upgrade at a later time when we can get a bigger truck. Does anyone know of a model that still has the rear living set up but with a middle bunk, or loft bunk, or even a nook type bunk that is light weight?
First, welcome to the forum!

I think you're being a bit optimistic with the weight you think you can tow. Post the specs of your truck and the payload listed on your driver's side door pillar so members here can help you to not make a second mistake.

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Old 07-26-2016, 06:10 PM   #4
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I think you're being a bit optimistic with the weight you think you can tow. Post the specs of your truck and the payload listed on your driver's side door pillar so members here can help you to not make a second mistake.
x2
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:33 PM   #5
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x3. Have a half ton myself and tow 6500lbs. Maxed out the payload on the truck with a family of four. Couldn't imagine pulling anything heavier even though I theoretically have 4000lbs. to spare.

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Old 07-28-2016, 10:27 AM   #6
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Thanks, I will look into these!
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:28 AM   #7
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First, welcome to the forum!

I think you're being a bit optimistic with the weight you think you can tow. Post the specs of your truck and the payload listed on your driver's side door pillar so members here can help you to not make a second mistake.

Bruce

I will have to get this info from the hubby..it is his truck. Hope to have soon and post update.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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Not so fast folks....it really depends!


First off, TTRB, what is the Make/Modle/Engine of your truck?


We owned a 2013 Ford F150 with the Ecoboost and trailer tow package and towed a Rockwood ultralight 5th wheel for over 3 years with zero problems. (and yes we were weighed and yes, we were underweight).
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:37 AM   #9
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Do not pay attention to MAX towing capacity unless the thing you are towing adds no weight to the TV. The number that is important is Max load capacity found on the drivers door post. Subtract the weight of all the passengers, gear in truck and 100 lbs for hitch. That is the weight your trailer can add to the TV.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:38 AM   #10
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Not so fast folks....it really depends!


First off, TTRB, what is the Make/Modle/Engine of your truck?


We owned a 2013 Ford F150 with the Ecoboost and trailer tow package and towed a Rockwood ultralight 5th wheel for over 3 years with zero problems. (and yes we were weighed and yes, we were underweight).
It is a 2015 F150 5.0 4x4 short bed. 3.73 rear end ratio
Fords tow chart shows me at 10,800 max load.
My rep at the rv store said to find something under 9500lbs and we should be ok...but after reading more posts and other blogs, we might go with a lighter option and just get a rear living one bedroom. I did find some under 8k lbs that we like, just missing that extra bunk for the kiddo. Or we get a bunk and do away with the living area we like. My husband and kiddo like the bigger living area as when we are in it, we'd hang out there in the evenings vs her get her own little bunk room where she wont be in it much... I know we have to give up one or the other. Just trying to figure out which is the most practical.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:49 AM   #11
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You need to carefully consider what kind of camping you want to do before you choose a layout. We picked a unit that had the best layout for sleeping and not so much for hanging out. My buddy has the opposite and while it is really cool to go in there with a bunch of people and hang out or watch TV, it just isn't what we do. We are NEVER in our camper except to sleep unless the weather is horrendous. What is most practical is going to depend on you, not what anyone here thinks.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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I had to move up from a Nissan frontier to a F150 with the 5.0 gas to pull my new Roo 25RS. Bass weith is (I think 5500). Most of the time I put on the cruis control and can't tell there is a trailer back there.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:53 AM   #13
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BTW, out ROO 25RS has bunk beds in the front and a king sized bed in the back.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:56 AM   #14
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It is a 2015 F150 5.0 4x4 short bed. 3.73 rear end ratio

Fords tow chart shows me at 10,800 max load.

My rep at the rv store said to find something under 9500lbs and we should be ok...but after reading more posts and other blogs, we might go with a lighter option and just get a rear living one bedroom. I did find some under 8k lbs that we like, just missing that extra bunk for the kiddo. Or we get a bunk and do away with the living area we like. My husband and kiddo like the bigger living area as when we are in it, we'd hang out there in the evenings vs her get her own little bunk room where she wont be in it much... I know we have to give up one or the other. Just trying to figure out which is the most practical.


Honestly, you must let go of the 10,800 number. What you must do is find the "Payload" number found on the yellow sticker on your driver's side door pillar.

That "Payload" number is how much weight your truck can carry. That number is calculated by subtracting the curb/empty weight of your truck from your truck's GVWR. GVWR is the maximum weight your truck can/should ever weigh when fully loaded.

If your trailer's GVWR is 9,000 lbs, you should assume 900 to 1,350 lbs tongue weight for a properly loaded trailer. If you add two adults (350 lbs) one child(100 lbs), you are at 1,350 to 1,800 lbs of payload on your truck. This is not counting anything else you may put in the truck or bed.

The "Payload" number on the yellow sticker should be higher than the numbers I just came up with. Probably should be a lot higher because of extra gear you are sure to carry.


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Old 07-28-2016, 12:09 PM   #15
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You need to carefully consider what kind of camping you want to do before you choose a layout. We picked a unit that had the best layout for sleeping and not so much for hanging out. My buddy has the opposite and while it is really cool to go in there with a bunch of people and hang out or watch TV, it just isn't what we do. We are NEVER in our camper except to sleep unless the weather is horrendous. What is most practical is going to depend on you, not what anyone here thinks.

Good point! Ours is mainly to take to the coast (about a 5hr drive). Typically we rent beach houses or condos and run around during most of the day. We like to kick back and unwind in the evenings by watching movies. I think my husband is trying to get the "home" feel of the rear living for me as it feels much bigger/more open space. Travel trailer life is totally new to me.
I honestly think we'd benefit from renting a few different styles and spending a weekend in them to decide. If i could find a lightweight rear living with a bunk i'd be elated! Looks like we need to figure out what is most important and go from there.
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:13 PM   #16
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Honestly, you must let go of the 10,800 number. What you must do is find the "Payload" number found on the yellow sticker on your driver's side door pillar.

That "Payload" number is how much weight your truck can carry. That number is calculated by subtracting the curb/empty weight of your truck from your truck's GVWR. GVWR is the maximum weight your truck can/should ever weigh when fully loaded.

If your trailer's GVWR is 9,000 lbs, you should assume 900 to 1,350 lbs tongue weight for a properly loaded trailer. If you add two adults (350 lbs) one child(100 lbs), you are at 1,350 to 1,800 lbs of payload on your truck. This is not counting anything else you may put in the truck or bed.

The "Payload" number on the yellow sticker should be higher than the numbers I just came up with. Probably should be a lot higher because of extra gear you are sure to carry.


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I will find that number this evening and get back to you. I'd rather be safe then sorry. I'm hoping that at least an 8k lb will be ok. I seem to be finding plenty with one or the other that we want in that range. Just nothing that has both features. (rear living and some sort of bunk/loft/nook w/ a bed)
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:33 PM   #17
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I agree with most of what has already been said here. Payload (the max. weight it can carry, not pull) is always the first spec to be compromised with pickups.

So, if I were you, my first step would be to find out how much weight your truck can carry (not pull/tow). Take it to a scale and get it weighed with all passengers on board and a full tank of gas, and then you'll know what you have left to work with. IMO, a couple hundred pounds over the GVWR is acceptable, but a lot more would be a problem. After you know what your truck can handle, pick a floorplan that works for your family and make sure it won't exceed your truck's available payload capacity.

Something else for you to consider regarding the floorplan. This is just my personal opinion about bunks. They are great for young kids. For teenagers, they are very likely to be uncomfortably small in both width (some are only 27" wide) and length. If your daughter is 10 she'll be OK in a bunk for now but once she hit's her growth spurt she may be unhappy with the bunk accommodations.

When we bought our current TT we bought it to accommodate our 3 teenage sons. Bunks just were not long enough or wide enough to be comfortable, so we decided we had to have a U-shaped dinette (sleeping for the younger 2) and a pull out sofa (for the oldest). It works great for us and now that they are getting older and don't always camp with us, we don't have the wasted space of the bunks.

For a rear living room floorplan, look at the Rockwood 2703WS or its Flagstaff twin the 27RLWS. It has opposing rear slides to keep most of the slide weight behind the TT's axles. Rear kitchen models are also good for keeping tongue weight down.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TTRB View Post
It is a 2015 F150 5.0 4x4 short bed. 3.73 rear end ratio
Fords tow chart shows me at 10,800 max load.
My rep at the rv store said to find something under 9500lbs and we should be ok...but after reading more posts and other blogs, we might go with a lighter option and just get a rear living one bedroom. I did find some under 8k lbs that we like, just missing that extra bunk for the kiddo. Or we get a bunk and do away with the living area we like. My husband and kiddo like the bigger living area as when we are in it, we'd hang out there in the evenings vs her get her own little bunk room where she wont be in it much... I know we have to give up one or the other. Just trying to figure out which is the most practical.
Have you got the EcoBoost engine? your rear end is perfect for towing. Did you get the max tow package as well?
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:54 PM   #19
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Even with the Short bed, consider a 5th wheel with a Reese Revolution Hitch.


This is the 5th wheel we owned with our F150:


Rockwood Signature Ultra Lite Fifth Wheels / Travel Trailers by Forest River RV
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:45 PM   #20
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ok, great thinking on the bunk length. She will outgrow that quick. She is 11 in sept. but she is already 5'3. That makes me feel a bit better about giving up the bunk room space. I'm sure we can all deal quite nicely with the rear living and she take the sofa bed.
I did look up both models you suggested. We want one with a free standing table vs the dinette/booth style, and I like the island in the kitchen look but that isn't a MUST.
I'm glad I joined this forum, because everyone has me thinking of things that I hadn't considered beforehand. Thanks for the advice! Now I will take the advice of the others and get my truck weighed. Then see how much we have to work with weight wise on the trailer. W/o the bunks I am more then sure we can find something in our weight range. Really surprises me that they make some super light 4k lb trailers but nothing w/ a mid bunk under 9k. I think we are going to hit up the next RV show in Dallas that is coming up and see if we get lucky and find something.
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